Summary: Originally appeared as the third message in a series of messages entitled, "How to Have a Happy and Healthy Home."

Sermon: How to Build a Marriage that Lasts

We are in the middle of a series of semons called, "How to Have a Happy and Healthy Home." Last week, we looked at Ephesians 5 and learned how to make marriage work. This morning, I want to look at Genesis 2 and learn how to build a marriage that lasts.

I read a story this past week about a neighborhood outside of Chicago. It was a nice, well kept, neighborhood - for a couple of years. But before too long, the roads began to crack and houses began to collapse. They called a team of inspectors in and the inspectors discovered that the entire neighborhood had been built on a garbage dump. The entire neighborhood was collapsing because it wasn’t built on a solid foundation.

And dear people, the same thing can happen to your marriage if it isn’t build on a solid foundation. Thankfully, the Bible describes the foundation of marriage in Genesis 2:18-25.

These verses reveal four principles that can help you build a marriage that lasts. If you want a marriage that lasts then you need to recognize . . .

I. The Purpose of Marriage.

The purpose of marriage is two-fold.

A. Marriage provides me with a COMPANION.

Look at verse 18 ("It is not good for the man to be alone", NIV).

HOW COULD THAT BE? Adam had the animals and he had God, but something was missing from his life. He didn’t have an intimate human companion. God designed Adam with a need for intimate human companionship. And only a member of the opposite sex could meet his need.

And dear people, God has designed us the exact same way. This is why you’re attracted to the opposite sex. You have a God-given need for intimate human companionship that only a member of the opposite sex can provide. And there’s nothing wrong with fulfilling this desire as long as it is done within the confines of a Godly marriage. If you try to fulfill this desire outside the confines of a Godly marriage (through pornography, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, or any other sexual sin) then you will ultimately find misery and unfulfillment.

Marriage provides me with a companion. This means that my wife should be my best friend and I ought to be her best friend. And what do best friends do? They share their hobbies, secrets, dreams, burdens, time, and etc. They play together, laugh together, and cry together.

Husbands and wives, if your spouse isn’t your best friend, then your missing out on the purpose of marriage. If you want a happy and lasting marriage, then be best friends!

B. Marriage provides me with a companion who makes my life COMPLETE.

Look at verse 18 and circle the phrase, " a helper suitable" (NIV). This refers to someone who could help Adam be a better person and live a more fulfilled life. It refers to someone who could make his life complete.

MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT. They have different ways of thinking, different tastes, and different strengths. But that’s O.K. God designed men and women to be different so they could make each other complete.

Let me explain it another way. You’ve heard the old cliche, "OPPOSITES ATTRACT." That’s good because a man and a woman can help one another further expand their interests, further develop their character, and further balance their lives (ILL: For instance, Carol and I are alike in some ways, and we’re different in some ways. We didn’t discover just how different we were until 3 or 4 months after we were married. But that’s O.K. because our differences complement one another. I’m a morning person, she’s a night person - I help her get up early, she helps me stay up late. I’m shy and she’s outgoing - she’s helping me be more outgoing. I’m a procrastinator and she’s a go-getter - she’s helping me be more a go-getter. She’s meticulous, I’m laid back - she’s helping . . . I’ll let you decide who needs to help who in that area. She’s cool headed and I’m temperamental - she’s helping me control my temper. We’re different, but our differences complement one another. We’re better people because of our differences).

"But Rick, WE JUST DON’T HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON." Dear friend, your differences will force you to do one of two things: the two of you can fight like cats and dogs because you refuse to change, expand, and grow as people; or the two of you can humble yourselves and use your differences to complement one another. It’s a lot easier to fight like cats and dogs, but it’s more beneficial to be humble and change for the better.

Now please don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say. I’m not saying that you should nag your spouse and try to change them into someone they’re not. I’m simply saying that you and your spouse should complement one another - that is build on each other’s strengths.

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